I've begun reading Peter's epistles...both of them in the last couple of days. What I love about Peter's letters is how straightforward and cutting to the core he is about being a Christian.
One of the things he focuses on is the need to live "in Christ". Not religiously, not piously, using language to act one way or the other; but living in the "real" faith of following hard after Jesus. In that sense, he is talking about a walk in Christ that is lived without regrets.
For example he gets to the core of growth in it's practical ways:
2 Peter 1:3, 5-8 NLT
"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
What more can be added? God has supplied all that we need. I hear people talk about the faith that they lack...I've probably done it myself. Peter says faith is "supplemented" with these character and integrity areas: purity, knowledge, self-contol, patience in enduring, godliness, brotherly kindness and love! It's Peter saying "it's not that complicated, keep working on these things."
Peter goes on to warn of those who jettison this approach for a false freedom. He mixes no words in speaking truth:
2 Peter 2:19-21 NLT
"They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life."
It is convicting..."slaves to whatever controls us..." True. The alcoholic knows it. It is a dire warning. We don't have a freedom in Christ to do whatever we want to do, we have a freedom in Christ to do what will lead us further and further to Christ.
Peter knows how practical it all is. He is not a hard-nosed legalist. He understands that at some point the world is going to be changed and Christ Jesus will rule upon the earth...the Kingdom we pray for will come. He's making it clear that God is extending his grace so that all who will can come.
2 Peter 3:9 NLT
"The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent."
2 Peter 3:13-14, 18 NLT
"But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.
And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
...you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen."
No regrets...and where there are regrets, a genuine desire for restoration and a new beginning.